The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm reading this after finishing Scalzi's Old Man's War. There are obvious parallels, but I much prefer Scalzi's work, as it is a more character-driven tale.
This book is a clear commentary on the Vietnam war and the effect that war had on career soldiers, how their world changed while they're away. How it has changed them into something they don't recognize.
I loved the conclusion. I loved all the commentary about social mores, gender, language, and sexuality.
Haldeman clearly expected technology to evolve even faster than it has. That adds to the book's charm for me. It's amusing to hear him refer to years I have lived through with accounts of technology that is far beyond us, but still using some very analog ideas--ie, he thought microfiche would still be around hundreds of years later. When he wrote the book, credit cards must not have been in use yet, because he imagined a small device taking the place of a wallet. A fascinating read in that way, inside the mind of a 1975 futurist.
I really enjoyed this. It's a classic I should have read long ago. And the narration on the audio book was IMPECCABLY good!
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Jennifer Foehner Wells
I'm an author of the Space Opera variety.